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CAN ART STOP A BULLET? William Kelly’s big picture

Exhibition: Can art stop a bullet?

Gernika Peace Museum Foundation

2018/09/21 - 2019/07/18


"Beauty, grace and love are not to be found in the barrel of a gun or in the midst of violence. They are not to be found in the midst of aggression, attacks or in the rejection or detention of refugees and asylum seekers. Beauty, grace and love begin for me in the image of a child cradled in its mother’s arms, in the smile of a child who knows love, in the laughter of a child at play.

While politicians promote militarism, attack neighbouring countries… daily, in the media, I see the destruction of beautiful ancient cities, deaths of soldiers (heroes) and civilians (collateral damage); men, women, children and babies. Yes. Babies. If we accept this, how callous have we become?

Yet, in the midst of these daily horrors, there are the givers of gifts, peacemakers, bridge builders - the builders of the foundation for change. When we understand that violence is our weakness, we will understand that love is our strength.

Art can be in service to brutality, whether the divine artists of the Third Reich, the unrelenting violence emanating from some computer gaming and some Hollywood films or it can speak to our better selves. The work of the pacifist artist Picasso is a benchmark against violence – his Guernica shows us the tragedy of war - and presents us with a flower of hope." William Kelly

Associated documents



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